The Role of Cell Metabolism in Innate Immune Memory

J Innate Immun. 2022;14(1):42-50. doi: 10.1159/000512280. Epub 2020 Dec 30.


Immunological memory is classically attributed to adaptive immune responses, but recent studies have shown that challenged innate immune cells can display long-term functional changes that increase nonspecific responsiveness to subsequent infections. This phenomenon, coined trained immunity or innate immune memory, is based on the epigenetic reprogramming and the rewiring of intracellular metabolic pathways. Here, we review the different metabolic pathways that are modulated in trained immunity. Glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, amino acid, and lipid metabolism are interplaying pathways that are crucial for the establishment of innate immune memory. Unraveling this metabolic wiring allows for a better understanding of innate immune contribution to health and disease. These insights may open avenues for the development of future therapies that aim to harness or dampen the power of the innate immune response.

Keywords: Metabolism; Therapies; Trained immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Glycolysis
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways